Decades ago when my daughters were little girls and when my husband travelled for work a lot….the best meal of the week was when we had breakfast for dinner. Breakfast for dinner was even better than pizza or fast food with a tiny prize.
My nest is empty now and I have begun serving my husband breakfast for dinner. At first he was skeptical but then I explained that I had frozen bags of those delicious NJ blueberries purchased at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market during the summer. He was intrigued.
My husband loves blueberries but he has a discerning palate, so when blueberries are in season (mid-summer) I buy pints of them from all the different farmers who sell them at the market and that is nearly all of them (AT Buzby, Flaim Farm, Formisano Farms, Fruitwood Farms, Hymer Farms, Wm. Schober & Sons, Springdale Farms, Viereck Farms…and then there is Green-Ford Bluebery Farm. Husband tastes them all and rates them. It is interesting to note that when the berries are fresh and sweet he will simply rinse them and eat them by the bowl. A pint fits in his favorite bowl. But, when he’s enjoying his blueberries in a pancake…frozen is what he wants.
Blueberries are easy to freeze. Rinse them. Spread them out on a towel or paper towel. Let them dry completely. Put in a bag. Put the bag full of blueberries into the freezer. They will keep all winter and spring.
So here’s how breakfast for dinner goes in our house.
Fry some bacon (or microwave it or bake it…I still like it fried). I only use Hillacres Pride no-nitrate bacon. I heard someone ask once if the non-cured tasted the same as the cured bacon. Yes…indeed it does. But you don’t get the added stuff….just pork bacon in it’s pure form. Delicious!
Break some eggs in a bowl for your scrambled eggs. I love the “little girl” eggs from DanLynn Farms. Brown and green shells and oh, so fresh! Beat them with a fork. Set aside. Scrambled eggs cook up quick so that is the last dish prepared….after the pancakes.
Now make your pancake batter. This recipe makes 9 six inch pancakes. You can also use your favorite pancake batter mix. Breakfast for dinner is supposed to stress free!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs unsalted butter, plus some for griddle
3 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- Whisk flour, powder, soda, salt, sugar. Set aside.
- Melt butter. Pour into small mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, stir. Add eggs (beat them in the measuring cup you used for the butter), stir a lot.
- Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Batter should have small to medium lumps.
- Heat griddle for at least 2 minutes over medium flame. Pan pre-heat is critical. Also, the few minutes that it takes to heat the pan winds up being the same amount of time the batter needs to “settle.”
- Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters, it is hot enough. Plop ¼-tsp fat into the pan and push it around with your pancake flipper. (From time to time, you may need to add a bit more in between pancakes. Fat is unnecessary with a non-stick surface.) Using a 4-oz ladle, about ½-cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. Scatter with blueberries. (If frozen, no need to thaw beforehand.) When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 minutes, flip. (Stick with 2 minutes. If pancakes are cooking quicker or slower, adjust flame.) Cook until golden on bottom, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven set to 175 degrees F.
It’s nice to put the finished pancakes in the oven to keep warm while you scramble the eggs to go with the bacon and pancakes. That way everyone can sit down and eat together. Family dinner has always been important to us. Just us two makes for nice conversation.
Husband was skeptical about breakfast for dinner (that and he is not a big egg fan) but blueberry pancakes made from frozen NJ blueberries has won him over. And a little pure maple syrup warmed in the microwave makes the meal even better. I am not a syrup person. That’s because, as my husband says, I’m sweet enough. But I do like butter. Butter. And a little more butter.
Breakfast for dinner is best eaten in your PJs and robe followed by a very, very, very good movie.